An investigation is underway at the Armco Hamilton site in New Miami, Ohio. The investigation will identify the types and amounts of contamination in the soil, sediment (mud), surface water and ground water (underground water) on and near the former industrial site. To accomplish this, extensive sampling of the ground water, surface water, sediment (mud) and the site's former coke production area is being done.
Property owner AK Steel Corp. is doing the investigation under a legal agreement with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Information gathered by AK Steel will be detailed in a document called a remedial investigation report which is expected to be completed by November. In addition to areas on the Armco property, the investigation will include public and private water supplies and the nearby Great Miami River. AK Steel is also responsible for other studies due to EPA later this year called the human health and ecological risk assessments. As these studies are deemed final, they will be available to the public.
The Armco Hamilton site comprises about 252 acres divided between two pieces of property north and south of Augspurger Road in the village of New Miami, Butler County. The former iron-producing facility is bordered to the south and east by the Great Miami River. It began operating as a steel mill around 1900 and changed ownership several times. A coke plant covered about 50 acres on the south parcel. Tar waste from the plant was taken to an on-site landfill for disposal. An on-site blast furnace produced about 1,000 tons of iron daily. Wastewater was placed into settling ponds that were periodically dredged. Sludge from these ponds was stored in unlined piles in a rail yard. Armco operated a total of four drainage areas that discharged to the Great Miami River.
EPA and Ohio EPA studied the site in the 1980s and 1990s. Monitoring wells were installed in 1999 and checked through 2001. The site was proposed for EPA's National Priorities List in 2003 which made it eligible for more detailed investigations under the federal Superfund program.